Step 1. Petition the court for Adoption. The petition must be signed by the adoptive parent(s), and may be filed in the county where the adoptee has lived for at least six consecutive months or from birth, where the child placing agency is located or where the petitioner has lived or been domiciled for at least the six consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. The following documents must be filed with the petition:
Once a petition is filed with all of the proper documents, the Clerk of Court will order the agency to make a report on the proposed adoption, if required for that type of adoption.
Step 2. File the Report on Proposed Action with the court of adoptions by the Department of Social Services or whoever the child’s placing agency is, which are ordered to investigate and supervise the adoptive placement. The report will include the following: history and family background of the child, the birth parents, the adoptive parents, assessment of the adjustment of the child and the family, and a recommendation as to whether the adoption should be finalized.
Step 3. File an itemized list of any out-of-pocket costs, such as filing fees or court costs, which must be done before the adoption can be finalized.
Step 4. The adoption is accepted and finalized by the court. The Decree of Adoption handed down, which makes the child legally part of your family now.
Step 5. Send the adoption documents to the NC Division of Social services where they are indexed for permanent retention then the child will be issued a new birth certificate. The new birth certificate will show the adoptive parents as the child’s parents and reflects the child’s new name, if changed.
NOTE: that all laws relating to adoption are found in Chapter 48 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
For more information please visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/adopt/
Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne. To arrange a consultation, contact Adkins Law.
Step 1. Contact your county’s Department of Social Services who provides and arranges for adoptions services at no cost for children in the foster care system.
Step 2. Department of Social Services will ask about your family background and composition. You will also be asked for a description of the child you seek to adopt. You must complete an application for adoption to begin the process.
Step 3. You must complete the Pre-Placement Assessment. The assessment requires you to participate in a series of meetings with the social worker who will help you understand both the adoption process and your responsibilities as an adoptive parent. You may be required special classes known as Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting-Group Preparation and Selection to prepare you to become an adoptive parent of a child from foster care. These parenting classes will provide you with important information about the skills needed to parent a child who has experienced loss and trauma. They will also help you determine your ability to provide a home for such a child.
Step 4. Once your Pre-Placement Assessment is completed, your social worker will work with you to locate a child or sibling group whose needs can be met in your family. This may take some time so it is important to be patient during this time.
Step 5. Once the child has been identified, a visitation plan is established so the child and your family can get to know each other before a placement is made.
Step 6. You bring the child home. All children, even infants, will have a period of adjustment following placement which requires must patience, tolerance, and love during that time.
Step 7. The supervisory period in North Carolina generally requires the child be in your home for six months before the adoption process can be complete. The social worker will visit your home to provide support and assistance during this period of time.
Step 8. Legalize your adoption in court. It is highly recommended that an attorney be retained for filing the legal documents. However, adoptive parents can chose to file their own legal documents. If you chose to hire an attorney the legal fees are arranged between the adoptive parents and the attorney. The laws relating to adopting in North Carolina can be found in Chapter 48 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
*For more information visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/adopt/
Adkins Law has offices in Huntersville and Ballantyne. Contact Adkins Law to arrange a consultation.
By Christopher Adkins
In North Carolina, under NCGS 48-5-101, any adult may adopt another adult, but spouses may not adopt each other. Adult adoption may be for a number of reasons including a transfer of inheritance rights, the recognition of a close relationship, or the potential benefits the adoptee may qualify for (ex. medical insurance, immigration status). North Carolina defines an adult as an individual who is 18 years of age, or if under 18 years of age, is either married, or has been legally emancipated.
To petition for an adult adoption in North Carolina, the parties must file the following paperwork:
Additionally, NCGS 48-2-605 requires that the adoptive parent and adoptee both appear in person, unless the court waives this requirement for cause. If the appearance is waived, an attorney (with written authorization) must appear for either or both parties. At least 30 days must have elapsed from the filing of the adoption petition (unless waived by the clerk), but notice of the petition must have been served on all necessary persons.
If you are interested in an adult adoption and need to speak with an adoption attorney, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne, and primarily serves Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, and the Lake Norman area.